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venting a coop - yes or no

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kodiakchicken, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    We are almost done with our coop (thank you, Lord!) and am wondering if it should be vented.

    What we have is a 10x10 three sided building that will house both the chicken coop and duck house and small yards for each. The chicken coop is on the right side, in the upper half of the building. I'll have an egg door that opens from the outside wall and the door to their ramp and the yard that opens in the front. I also will have one section of the front that is hinged so we can open the whole thing and clean it. Two walls are insulated with the 3rd to be insulated before winter. The interior coop roof is not insulated but I'm thinking about insulating the bottom. There are not any windows. There will be 5 chickens in there at night only, or just during really, really crummy weather.

    So, should I vent it or not. The whole thing was built out of scrap lumber, so it's not super-tight anyway. And, our highest temps never exceed 80 degrees, and that's maybe only 1 or 2 days per year. We haven't seen over 60 all summer this year. The winters hang from between 10 above to 40 above.

    Same question applies to the duck house. It's construction is similar, just on the ground (on top of a pallet, actually) and squarer with no roost.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yes, I would. It isnt just about heat, its about moisture escaping from their respiration and poop.
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pennsylvania
    Absolutely need to vent it. Ventilation is very important (both in summer and in winter).
     
  4. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    VENT THAT PUPPY!
     
  5. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I am pro-vent as well [​IMG]
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Oh my goodness YES YES YES.

    Chickens poo a LOT, and something like 50% of their pooing is done at night when they are on the roost.

    Their poo has VAST quantities of water in it (they don't separately pee, it's a combo sort of thing). A damp humid environment encourages harmful molds, and in cold weather makes chickens far more vulnerable to frostbite.

    Their poo also has VAST quantities of nitrogenenous wastes, which are rapidly converted to ammonia, which is highly damaging to the respiratory tract and predisposes chickens to a wide variety of respiratory diseases which can become a permanent problem in your flock even if the ventilation issue is solved later on.

    So for heavens' sake ventilate WELL. Not just a few holes - a large amount of (hardware-cloth-screened) window-size openings that can be opened and closed as needed according to conditions.

    Even in a Northern climate, insufficient winter ventilation is going to be a major problem, and yes, you need to keep ventilation going even when it is quite cold out.

    Especially if there are ducks involved. How do people overwinter ducks in a northern climate without running into humidity problems (for them or for chickens in an attached house)? You should try to find out.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Thanks, everyone. I figured that but now my DH is going to kill me. I had vetoed windows early on in the process!

    So, do you think I need to vent to the exterior wall, which would be completely outside, or could I vent into the "yard" area, which is basically a lean-to type construction with a solid roof but an open (covered with hardward cloth) wall.

    patandchickens - the ducks will not be allowed to have water at night, but will have access all during the day. I also put them on the side of the building where the drainage will run to, so hopefully that will help to eliminate our water issues. Kodiak is always moist anyway, so even with the amount the ducks contribute it won't make a substantial difference. I also probably separate the run areas so the chickens and the ducks can have their own "space", although they are starting to enjoy being around each other. I think one of my Wyandottes thinks she is a duck - she's always hanging with them!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    We have an 8x8, with one window in the front, and I still needed to add vents near the ceiling. Hubby drilled a 3-4" diameter hole on opposite sides and popped in a round aluminum vent in the hole to prevent anything getting in or out. It made ALL the world of a difference. That moisture needs to get out, otherwise the ammonia will build up too fast, too. I use lime in the dropping pit to help that, but the ventilation helped the most.
    [​IMG] Let's see photos of that puppy, y'hear?
    [​IMG]
     
  9. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kodiak, Alaska
    Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

    We have an 8x8, with one window in the front, and I still needed to add vents near the ceiling. Hubby drilled a 3-4" diameter hole on opposite sides and popped in a round aluminum vent in the hole to prevent anything getting in or out. It made ALL the world of a difference. That moisture needs to get out, otherwise the ammonia will build up too fast, too. I use lime in the dropping pit to help that, but the ventilation helped the most.
    [​IMG] Let's see photos of that puppy, y'hear?
    [​IMG]

    Forgive my early morning ignorance - my coffee hasn't kicked in. By "puppy" are you referring to the coop or the dog in the photo? Yes, you all can laugh - I'm useless in the morning!​
     
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    And be sure to predator- proof the vents! I bet you would find a window useful, much more convenient, despite earlier thoughts! Do you have enough light for your layers?[​IMG]
     

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